Coming from a Kawasaki Z900 and Ducati Monster, this motorcycle didn’t disappoint me a bit.
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I visited Shaman at Andheri. In fact, I went there to test ride a Trident. Liked it. The next day they launched the Speed 400. I wasn’t in touch with motorcycling news. So I didn’t know that they have an upcoming launch.
While test riding the Trident, I also tried Speed Twin 1200. I liked how easy and light Trident was. And liked how well-built Speed Twin is.
When they launched Speed 400, I could not help but think that, maybe, Speed Twin and Trident were having an illicit affair and forgot to take precautions.
I booked the bike. Got the early bird discount. When invited, I visited the showroom.
What I liked about the bike:
- 5-star build quality & looks
- Easy to ride
- Ideal for city roads
- Great suspension
Coming from a Z900 and Monster, it didn’t disappoint a bit. I will not take it to Ladakh. I will not take this to track. But I can do everything else with this. This is just perfect.
What I did not like:
- Now this may sound like stretching it really too far. But I think it’s time that we start expecting motorcycle manufacturers to give internet-connected gps trackers and crash sensors. This will save lives. I think since I was ready to book a Speed Twin or a Trident, I would have been ok with a higher variant at a higher price with these features.
- Bigger and better brakes up front would have made me happy too. I didn’t like the speedo console. The one they have on Trident looks much better.
- Heat: Maybe a 400 cc should not give away heat too much. I am not sure. I didn’t find the heat troubling. But bigger engines heat much more. I think good heat dissipation means great thermal management inside the engine.
- Sales guys at the showroom: They are good, well trained, but in a rush due to the number of enquiries, but overall good. I didn’t feel they pushed me too hard. But then I was a low-maintenance customer. I think we should cut them some slack. This bike is a lot of value for money. So they have to process things fast to keep sales costs down. I would think a completely electronic buying experience would have made more sense. But the company chose to not keep everything online. Maybe the bottlenecks at the RTO are the reason.
- Top end performance and vibration: I don’t know, I didn’t try to push it beyond 100 kph. Upto 100 kph I didn’t feel anything unusual. My Z900 used to vibrate less. My Monster used to vibrate more (or at least felt so). I am ok with how this felt since it’s just 1 cylinder. I never pushed my Duke 390 to 9000 rpm. So I really don’t understand this part. A high-revving machine throwing up torque at 9000 rpm, is that a good thing? No idea.
I did consider RE650. I liked the reviews. Maybe I will get one in future. But I didn’t like the fit and finish of the bike. Plus it’s a bit heavy. It’s an excellent product though.
The Triumph guys who worked on this are good, really good. They got almost everything perfect. The only thing that is to be seen is the reliability of this machine. If this machine is reliable, then other manufacturers will have to up their game.
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